how to use a volcano vaporizer

Everything you need to know about the Volcano Vaporizer Gold Edition

Like hot cheetos, Nintendo 64 and acrylic bongs, the Volcano vaporizer constitutes a highly nostalgic piece of our collective stoner history. With its distinct triangular base, plastic party bag of weed vapor, and (at the time) hefty price tag for a stoner gadget, the Volcano pioneered the desktop vaporizer throughout the 2000s.

As a teen in the mid-late 2000s, many of my hazy memories involved giant Volcano bags of weed vapor being blown around the garage, TV room, or den of whoevers parents happened to be gone at the time.

However fond, these memories were of an era that seemed bound to remain lost in the past, belonging to a much younger, and even more stoned version of myself. That is, until the 20th anniversary Gold Volcano Classic came waltzing into my life, reflating latent memories like the balloon I’m puffing on while writing this review.

What is the Volcano vaporizer?

The Volcano Classic Gold Edition is a 20th anniversary reissue of the Volcano Classic, the most popular and iconic vaporizer of all time.

The Volcano vaporizer is a flower vaporizing system. It has a volcano-shaped base that uses convection heat to fill a large plastic balloon bag with vapor. Just before the device is ready to hit, the set-up simulates a plume of smoke that spouts from a volcano before an eruption — hence the name. It was wildly popular in the early-mid 2000s, defining a transitional period in stoner culture just before the prospects of legality blew the lid off the gadget industry, burying the Volcano with high-tech competitors.

In honor of the Volcano Classic’s 20th anniversary, Storz & Bickel, the Euro overlords behind the German-engineered device, are dusting off the cobwebs and reissuing the Volcano in a 24k gold finish. Conceptually, it feels like an exciting spin on a classic, a kind of trophy or award in its own image that highlights the Volcano’s legendary status in cannabis culture.

This specific model will set you back $600, and is available for one year only, while supplies last. The Volcano Classic is available year round.

What can you vape with the Volcano vaporizer?

The Volcano Classic is compatible with finely ground flower, and also contains a drip pad for use with concentrates.

How do you use the Volcano vaporizer?

Now that you’re familiar with the Volcano vaporizer, how does it work?


  • Volcano base (Hot air generator)
  • Drip pad
  • Normal screen set
  • Valve balloon with mouthpiece
  • Filling chamber with cap


  1. Plug in the Volcano base. Make sure you put the Volcano on a sturdy, level surface near an outlet.
  2. Choose temperature. Start with the dial somewhere between 5 and 6 (around 350°F). See “Changing Temperatures” for more info below.
  3. Remove the filling chamber cap. Unscrew the top from the bottom.
  4. Grind flower. Make sure the flower is ground completely so the hot air has as little surface area to vaporize when the air moves through as possible.
  5. Fill the chamber with ground flower, then screw on the filing chamber cap. Do not fill too tightly, it should be loose enough for air to pass through easily, not completely packed.


  1. Preheat the flower if the control lamp is off.
  • Flick on the red HEAT button, which will turn on the orange CONTROL light.
  • Attach the filling chamber to the top of the Volcano.
  • Wait until the orange CONTROL light turns off, signaling it’s ready to go.
  1. Before putting the balloon on the filling chamber, pull it tight and straight, so air can easily flow in and fill the balloon.
  2. Remove mouthpiece from balloon, attach to top of base.
  3. Flip the green AIR switch. Bag will begin to fill.
  4. Stay conscious of vapor density in the balloon.
  • It’s important that the balloon does not become too full of vapor, if it’s getting taught to the touch it’s time to stop filling.
  1. Remove the full balloon unit. Never leave the filing chamber on the Volcano — beware, as this is a very hot surface.
  2. Attach mouthpiece to the valve on the balloon.
  3. Inhale and pass.
  4. Empty the balloon completely after use by pulling it tight and rolling to store.

Temperature control

The Volcano’s temperature control is operated by an easy valve that has 9 heat settings. It should be noted that heat temperatures for each setting varies by 10°F due to the convection air moving through the device.

  • 1 — 266°F
  • 2 — 288°F
  • 3 — 309°F
  • 4 — 331°F
  • 5 — 352°F
  • 6 — 374°F
  • 7 — 396°F
  • 8 — 417°F
  • 9 — 439°F

The ideal temperature to vaporize ground flower is around 350°F, so begin by setting your dial to somewhere around 5 (352°F). For more terpene flavor and less vapor, turn the dial down. For more vapor — and a more intense high — turn it up (though this can scorch the flower).

What’s the appeal?

The Gold reissue of the Volcano Classic reminds us why these flamboyant vaporizers were so popular in the first place. Aside from being extremely well made and effective in delivering one of the cleanest methods of cannabis intake, they are fun to use, and always a crowd-pleaser.

Something about the presence of a Volcano is deeply comforting, stoking a nostalgic little flame in the depths of our unconscious. The performative aspect of the vaping process with one of these elevates a simple session to a kind of ritual, albeit a silly one.

Though $600 is a bit of a monetary setback for some, other’s wouldn’t bat an eyelash at dropping a few hundred on a piece of stoner history. Like a fine bottle of wine or fancy champagne, the Gold Volcano Classic is something that you break out in a celebratory setting, or if you simply want to make an everyday hang feel festive. With this chic yet retro twist on a classic, you can’t go wrong.

The Volcano vaporizer pioneered the desktop vaporizer throughout the 2000s. The Gold edition celebrates 20 years as the most iconic vaporizer of all time.

How To Use Your Volcano Vaporization System

The Volcano Vaporizer System is easy to get started with. Designed with the consumer in mind, the system is easy to use and master.
Each unit comes with all of the components you need to get started.
The system includes:
  • Air filter set
  • Three chamber clips
  • A ring
  • Pad for concentrates
  • Two-piece herb grinder
  • Cleaning brush
  • Filling chamber
  • Instructions
Starting out, you’ll need just three main components to begin using your vaporizer.
The three components to remove from the bag are:

Base Unit

Plug-in your base (classic or digit base).

Filling Chamber

Use the included grinder the prepare your dry product for the filling chamber.

Easy Valve

The easy valve is the best option for new users.

These three components will help you progress through the simple setup option outlined below.

The Layman’s Quick Start Guide

#1 –You’ll start by finding the base of the Volcano and placing it onto a flat surface.
#2 –Locate the filling chamber and note that there’s a screen on the bottom of the chamber that is meant to hold herbs in place.

Fill the chamber to your desired amount and then set the screen on top to form a proper seal.

#3 –The closed filling chamber will then be placed on the Volcano.

You’ll note that there’s really no wrong way to place the grooved top in place. After placing the screen, the valve that holds the plastic bag will need to be put in place. The bag’s job is to fill up with vapors and hold them for the user.

#4 –The valve snaps easily into place on top of the filling chamber.
#5 –All that’s left to do is hit the green button and allow the Volcano to fill the bag with vapors.

Expert testing has revealed that the vapor in the bag can be inhaled for 1- 2 hours after filling.

#6 –Setting the temperature properly will take some time to master, but experiment to find a setting that produces the desired vapor thickness.

The digital Volcano vaporizer offers more refinement in temperature control, but the manual controls will also work just fine.

#7-If this is your first time vaping with the Volcano, you’ll also need to use the clips on the side of the bag when disconnecting it from the filling chamber.

The clips are what will then attach the bag to the mouthpiece, which will keep the vapor inside of the bag and form a seal.

#8 –Press your lips on the valve and it will release vapor.

Advanced Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Vaporizer

The Volcano was first introduced to consumers in 2001, and enthusiasts have had time to learn how to best use this vaporizer. Tips from community members and long-term users on how to make the most out of the vaporizer include:

#1 – Use the Grinder That’s Included

You may be tempted to use chunkier material in the Volcano, but this is not the best way to vape your product. A grinder is included to offer you a finer concentration of product that you may not be familiar with.

The two-piece grinder will grind the material down to a size that’s perfect for the Volcano.

Engineered from the ground up to offer the best flavor, the Volcano works best when all herb is ground with the two-piece grinder. The grinder is designed to keep the herb between the teeth for longer, offering full extraction thanks to the material that’s produced.

#2 – Save Herb with This Tip

Herb is expensive, and it can be wasted by keeping the material on top of the Volcano when vaping. The filling chamber should be removed when not being used, even for a short time, because the heat from the vaporizer will continue to degrade the herb left in the chamber.

When the bag starts to thin, leave the chamber on top of the Volcano for a few minutes before turning on the fan.

The filling chamber will be able to use the heat and offer full extraction of the herb.

Use this method when vaping and in between filling the chamber to be able to enjoy great-tasting herb for longer.

#3 – Try Higher Temperatures

Temperature settings are designed to offer clean convection without the fear of harsh flavors or burnt material even at high temperature settings. Turn up the heat to 400F or higher, testing out different temperature ranges to find one that is best suited to your tastes.

Start lowering the temperature over time, making note of the changes, to find the best temperature for your taste.

Note: Vapor does tend to go stale, and it will go stale if the vapor sits in the bag for too long. While you can leave the vapor in the bag for 1 – 2 hours, it tastes best when the vapor is finished within 5 minutes.

A lot of long-term users found that the ideal temperature range, when using the Classic, is between 4.5 and 5. The temperature will remain at under 180c with the goal of not overheating the contents in the chamber.

Preheat the flower for best results, or crank it up to 10 and try it while adjusting the temperature lower, with each bag filling to find the ideal temperature.

#4 – The First Bag Filling Technique

Vapor thickens as it heats up, and the first bag will often be less flavorful and the right consistency than subsequent bags. One technique is to watch the bag closely and adjust the temperature when filling the bag for the first time.

When the density is a level that you prefer, remove the bag and keep the temperature as-is.

You can inhale the vapor, and then fill it back up to have a bag filled with the dense vapor that you prefer. The bags are designed to be removed at any time, allowing the bag to be filled and removed multiple times as needed.

The first bag is almost never as good as the second because the oven is heating up to its desired temperature.

#5 – Proper Chamber Filling Techniques for Better Vapor Taste and Density

Volcano is designed with a chamber that accepts almost any size load of herb. The press-like chamber’s benefits are offset by the easy valve, which has a fixed size that’s less forgiving.

One method of overcoming the restrictions of the easy valve is to:

  • Fill the chamber completely
  • Fill the chamber to half capacity

A liquid pad can be placed in the chamber to take up the excess space. Volcano also sells dosing capsules, which will be able to hold different levels of herb with better precision. The dosing capsules are ideal for solo use options, but it’s recommended that the Volcano’s chamber be allowed to properly heat up so that the density is ideal when the capsule is used.

#6 –Ramped Temperature Profiles

Ramped temperature profiles are ideal for some users and not others. When trying to find the perfect taste and density, a lot of users will start in the 5.5 – 6 range. The idea is to fill the bag more and more, increasing the temperature during the session.

The session may start with a 5.5 temperature and end at a 9.

The Digital Volcano can follow the same ramp-up profile by slowly increasing the temperature as the bag fills.

#7 –Rattling Can Be Fixed with a Torx T8 Safety Screwdriver

Over time, the Volcano may start to rattle or make a low sound when in use. The rattling is caused by screws coming loose over time, and the screws used are not conventional. Torx T8 safety screwdrivers are the right option to tighten the screws and keep the unit from rattling.

Loctite can be used with great success to keep the screws from working their way out of the Volcano.

Replacement screws are available direct, and the replacement screws will use the conventional screw that can be used with a Philips screwdriver. If screws are lost over time, they are able to be replaced direct from the manufacturer.

Q-tips and rubbing alcohol will be used extensively during the cleaning process, allowing users to thoroughly clean out all components of the Volcano.

How often do I need to change the bag? It depends on usage.

A person using the Volcano daily will need to change bags more often than a weekly or casual user.

The general rule of thumb is that the bag needs to be replaced when it starts to stick to itself. This happens after extended use, and users will need to help the bag fill more.

Others will begin replacing their bags when the vapor begins to leak from the seal of the gaskets.

There is also a school of thought that the bags should be changed once their color starts to turn. Heavy users will change their bags once a month or as often as every two weeks if the resin starts to build-up in the unit.

Moderate users may be able to go 2 – 4 months before a bag change is required.

Our quick start user guide helps you get started with your Volcano Vaporization System and keep it running smoothly. ]]>